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Context:

This is theory crafting exercise trying to determine the actual practical use of "Artificial" spell progression many online guides and handbooks suggest as viable. These guides point towards the use of feats such as Heighten Metamagic, Sanctum Spell, Earth Spell and Practiced caster to obtain 9th level spells for classes or PRC's that do not traditionally have 9th level spell slots.

A person in my playgroup is arguing that a prepared spellcaster using these methods can and should be allowed to progress into 7th, 8th, or 9th level prepared spells using these methods as well as it being a "Natural" extension of the rules as a result of a specialized build to futher increase the economy of each spell slot as a result of the build.

I proposed a simple test to see if the rules allow for such a thing using the mechanics he says should work in conjunction to "Extend Spell Progression": Can a Chameleon craft a 9th level scroll of Wish?

If a chameleon can pull this off - then arguably the mechanics could apply to other limited PRC's or spellcasters who "Miss" caster progression in order to take specific level dips.


The Build and process:

Changeling - Chameleon 1st Level Sorcerer, 4th Level Rouge, 10th level Chameleon

Feats - Racial Emulation, Heighten Spell, Sanctum Spell, Earth Spell, Earth Sense, Versatile Caster, Scribe Scroll (7 feats total, 6 from level progression, 1 from Chameleon floating Feat).

Assume this theoretical build has a natural (or boosted) intelligence and charisma score of 20 to manage stat expectations. And because of his chameleon levels he is a 20th level caster.

The Chameleon in question has "Borrowed" a spell book containing wish as a spell.

  1. Using two 6th level spell slots the Chameleon uses Versatile Spell Caster to turn two 6th level slots into a 7th level spell slot.

  2. The Chameleon Prepares Wish using a 6th level slot applying Sanctum Spell and Heighten Spell onto it, causing it to take up a 7th level spell slot.

  3. The Chameleon Casts the Wish spell inside his sanctum with a natural dirt floor - gaining the bonus heighten effect from both sanctum and earth spell - now making it a 9th level spell Slot.

  4. Since the Chameleon can expend a now "Properly" prepared wish spell in the appropriate slot - he can use that spell to craft a wish scroll.

Can someone help articulate how this is broken, or why this is valid?

Or am I otherwise missing the point altogether and it's just a matter of gaining access to casting lower-level spells at higher level to overcome spell resistance and better save DC's?


Refrence Materials

Previous Questions I've asked related to the subject:

Wizard Preparation

Sanctum / Earth Spell / Heighten

Guides that refrence earth spell as a means to "Fix" casting levels:

Chameleons Handbook

Shadow Crafter Handbook

*There are one or two more that I'm trying to remember what / where they are in my bookmarks (Mostly from Reddit). I'll post them here once I find them.

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Not like this, but yes

Your suggested method will not work, but it is possible.

Proposed Method

  1. Using two 6th level spell slots the Chameleon uses Versatile Spell Caster to turn two 6th level slots into a 7th level spell slot.

Using two 6th-level spell slots with Versatile Spellcaster doesn’t give you a 7th-level spell slot; it allows you to cast a 7th-level spell. This can matter for some attempted tricks, if it’s important that you have a 7th-level spell slot. Often this is a distinction without a difference, but crafting is one case where it is important to have the actual slot, since the requirement isn’t to “cast” the spell, it’s to have the spell prepared in a slot or to have it known and to have a spell slot available for it.

  1. The Chameleon Prepares Wish using a 6th level slot applying Sanctum Spell and Heighten Spell onto it, causing it to take up a 7th level spell slot.

What? None of this makes sense to me. Wish is a 9th-level spell on every list I can find; if you want to prepare it, you need at least a 9th-level spell slot. I don’t think anything in the game can get around that. This entire question seems to require ignoring the answers to your previous question where it was established that you cannot do this.

Preparing a sanctum wish still takes a 9th-level spell slot. When you cast it, it may count as a 10th-level spell (in your sanctum) or an 8th-level spell (otherwise), but it’s still being cast from a 9th-level spell slot.

Applying Heighten Spell here doesn’t help in any way that I can see, even with the modifiers from Earth Spell. Without a 10th-level spell slot (and thus being epic), you’ll have a hard time applying it in the first place, since for it to apply, you need a minimum of +1 spell level adjustment. And without Improved Heighten Spell, it won’t do anything except maybe undo Sanctum Spell.

  1. The Chameleon Casts the Wish spell inside his sanctum with a natural dirt floor - gaining the bonus heighten effect from both sanctum and earth spell - now making it a 9th level spell Slot.

Even ignoring all the issues above, spell’s slot is the slot you actually use. Earth Spell and Sanctum Spell increase the spell’s level without increasing the slot’s level—that’s the entire point of them.

  1. Since the Chameleon can expend a now "Properly" prepared wish spell in the appropriate slot - he can use that spell to craft a wish scroll.

If the chameleon could prepare wish in a 6th-level spell slot—which one cannot—then they could have just scribed it as a 6th-level spell scroll, and none of these shenanigans would have been necessary.

A Valid Method

Can A Chameleon […] Craft a scroll of Wish?

Yes.

There are probably many approaches, but here is one.

  1. Chameleon, obviously.

  2. Heighten Spell, also obviously. The only time anyone ever takes Heighten Spell is when doing theoretical optimization shenanigans. You should probably never take it in an actual game.

  3. Cleric 1st, because you need some divine spellcasting that’s allowed to meet requirements (if it weren’t for the rule saying aptitude focus cannot meet requirements, we could do this with just chameleon). Probably want the Planning domain, because we need:

  4. Divine Metamagic (Heighten Spell), Extra Turning. You need 9 turn undead uses per day, so you’ll probably have to take Extra Turning twice unless you go for a lot of Charisma. Or you abuse nightsticks, but let’s not go there.

  5. Sanctum Spell

Now you are capable of the following:

  • Prepare bless with Sanctum Spell, and cast it in your sanctum using Divine Metamagic (Heighten Spell) to heighten it to a 9th-level spell by burning 9 turn undead uses. Thanks to Sanctum Spell, it counts as a 10th-level spell.

You don’t actually have to go and do this. Just the fact that you could is relevant here.

Since you are capable of casting a 10th-level spell, that allows you to meet certain requirements you couldn’t before. So now we can continue our plan:

  1. Practiced Spellcaster (cleric). We have a caster level requirement to meet, and once again, aptitude focus cannot be used to meet it.

  2. Extra Slot. You qualify for this feat, and determine the highest-level slot you can get from it, via your cleric spellcasting (and the freely-heightened 10th-level bless). That means you are eligible to get a 9th-level spell slot. But instead of getting a 9th-level cleric spell slot, we’re going to get a 9th-level chameleon spell slot. This is a little weird, but it’s probably legit. Extra Slot definitely does not strictly require that you apply its benefits to the spellcasting that’s setting its maximum. And literally anything other than chameleon wouldn’t even have this problem: they could just metamagic up their own 10th-level spell and qualify for themselves. But the no-qualifying rule is a pain.

Congratulations, you now have a bona fide 9th-level chameleon spell slot. Now you can use that to scribe your scroll of wish.

Reminder: This is incredibly broken

The above trick can be performed by a 4th-level cleric, to get a 9th-level spell slot at 4th level (would need some abuse to get a feat at that level but that’s possible). Hell, with flaws and outside assistance (9th-level warforged bard with Song of the Heart and inspire greatness and a 7th-level psion or wilder with psychic reformation), you could do it at 1st.

A 9th-level spell per day at 1st level is preposterously overpowered. This trick should never be used in actual play. Extra Slot should be calculated using the highest level spell slot you already have, not the highest-level spell you can cast. For that matter, Divine Metamagic should just be barred from working on Heighten Spell, or maybe just banned altogether.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @user2754 op's method isn't so much a method as a pile of confusion. That's not unreasonable, given that this is a pile of confusing edge cases on a confusing base case, but there still isn't really a method there. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 5:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PlayPatrice it's two different things. Here, you're looking to "cast a 10th level spell", which you do by heavily modifying a 1st-level spell out of a 1st-level slot. There is no point at which the basic bless stops being a 1st level spell, and "bless, but with all my stuff applied to it" is not a spell on anyone's spell list. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 13:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PlayPatrice As fectin says, they’re completely separate. Shadow evocation says you can mimic a spell from a particular spell list, so whether or not a spell appears on that list is crucial. Extra Slot makes no mention of spell list, so it doesn’t come up. Nonetheless, it’s worth pointing out that “the highest level of spell you can currently cast,” as used by Extra Slot, is not really defined anywhere. Since you can cast a spell that uses “10” for any calculations calling for “spell level,” it seems like “10” should be what you use for Extra Slot—but this is obviously completely broken. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 14:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PlayPatrice Extra Slot requires caster level 4th, per my copy of Complete Arcane. Unless there’s errata on it; I didn’t check. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 15:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan I mean, who knows? It’s not like they ever detailed what they meant by “highest level of spells you can cast,” but since it does specifically say cast, it seems to me that (by a RAW, no-holds-barred approach), on cast triggers should count. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 14:28

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